Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tell me how you are – and I know how long you will live

10.02.2012
The way people rate their health determines their probability of survival in the following decades.
Researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich demonstrate that for ratings ranging from “excellent”, “good”, “fair” and “poor” to “very poor”, the risk of mortality increases steadily – independently of such known risk factors as smoking, low education levels or pre-existing diseases.

How would you rate your health? This is a question that often appears on questionnaires. The answer is linked to the respondent’s probability of survival or death. Needless to say, a pessimistic assessment goes hand in hand with an increased risk of illness or death. It can be assumed that on average people who rate their health as poor have an unhealthier lifestyle, are often in a fragile state of health or are already sick. However, earlier studies that only monitored the participants for a few years after the survey reveal that the correlation persists even if these factors are taken into account.
Self-rating more permanent …
Now, researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich demonstrate that self-rated health is also linked to the probability of survival or death over a long period of more than thirty years. In the study, which was conducted in Switzerland, men who rated their health as “very poor” were 3.3 times more likely to die than men of the same age who rated their health as “excellent”, and the risk of death was 1.9 times higher in women who rated their health as “very poor” than for those who rated it as “excellent”. Here, the risk increased steadily from an optimistic to a pessimistic rating: people in “excellent” health had better chances of survival than those in “good” health, the latter better chances than those in a “fair” state of health, and so on. “The steady increase in risk and the long time of over thirty years between the self-rating and the end of the observation period render it practically impossible for medical history or a dark foreboding to be main causes of the correlation observed,” explains head of the study Matthias Bopp.
... risk factors taken into consideration
Even taking education levels, marital status, tobacco-related strains, medical history, the use of medication, blood pressure and blood glucose into account, the correlation between self-rated health and mortality only weakened marginally. The difference in the risk of death between the best and the worst rating was still 1:2.9 in men and 1:1.5 in women. “Our results indicate that people who rate their state of health as excellent have attributes that improve and sustain their health,” concludes specialist in preventive medicine David Fäh. “These might include a positive attitude, an optimistic outlook and a fundamental level of satisfaction with one’s own life.”
Doctors called for
The results of the study support the broad concept of health advocated by the World Health Organization not as the absence of disease, but rather as complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. “Good doctors should therefore not just look for the presence of risk factors or diseases, but also check which health resources their patients have and boost and consolidate them if need be,” says David Fäh.
Further reading:
Bopp M, Braun J, Gutzwiller F, Faeh D. Health Risk or Resource? Gradual and Independent Association Between Self-rated Health and Mortality Persists Over 30 years. February 9, 2012. PLoS ONE 2012. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030795
Contact:
Matthias Bopp
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
University of Zurich
Tel.: +41 63 634 46 14
Email: bopp@ifspm.uzh.ch
David Fäh
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
University of Zurich
Tel. +41 44 634 46 16
Email: david.faeh@ifspm.uzh.ch

Nathalie Huber | idw
Further information:
http://www.uzh.ch

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index started off well in 2018

22.02.2018 | Business and Finance

FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Histology in 3D: new staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>